Interpreting Graphical Representations

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What is a Linear Equation?

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Line and Bar Graphs
  • 0:56 Ice Cream Sold
  • 2:15 Test Scores
  • 3:12 How to Find a Data Point
  • 3:53 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

After watching this video lesson, you will be able to quickly and easily read and interpret any line and bar graph. You will be able to gather important information by just looking at one of these graphs.

Line and Bar Graphs

Line and bar graphs can be found easily in the real world. In fact, almost anything can be displayed using one of these graphs. Line graphs are graphs that have a single line connecting the data points and bar graphs are the graphs that use bars to represent the data. You will know when you are looking at one or the other. If you see a line connecting the dots, it's a line graph; if you see a bunch of bars, then you are looking at a bar graph.

Businesses use these graphs often to show important information to customers and other businesses. Of course, you will see these in the math tests that you will take. So, being able to read and interpret them is to your benefit as you take your math tests and when you come across them in the real world.

Ice Cream Sold

Let's take a look at a possible real-world scenario. The owner of an ice cream cart has graphed his sales for the past week based on the outside temperature. He wants to see if the outside temperature has any effect on his sales. This is what he ended up with:

Line Graph
interpreting graph

Can you guess what kind of graph this is? Does it have a line or does it have bars? It has a line, so it is a line graph! Take a moment and just look at it for a bit.

Do you think you can figure out what this graph is telling you? By looking at the labels on this graph, we can see that it is telling us the amount of sales our ice cream cart makes depending on the outside temperature. It fits with what the owner of the ice cream cart told us he wanted to graph. So far, so good. So, what is this line graph telling us? Is there a temperature that gets the owner more sales? It looks like temperatures around the 85 mark give the owner the most sales. So, 85 degrees Fahrenheit is a good temperature for the ice cream cart to be out and about.

Test Scores

Let's look at another scenario. This time, we have a teacher that wants to graph the test scores of the students in her class. This particular teacher is teaching a gifted and talented group of only ten students. This is the graph that she ended up with:

Bar Graph
interpreting graph

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account